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Category: Education/Training  Scrutiny

Concern That Children's Rights Are Not at Centre of Policy

Jan 25, 2022

Concern that children’s rights are not “centre stage” of policy development

Scrutiny’s Migration and Population Review Panel questioned the Children’s Commissioner for Jersey, Deborah McMillian, yesterday at a public hearing on the Government’s proposed Common Population Policy.

During the hearing, the Children’s Commissioner expressed her concern that children’s human rights are not currently “centre stage” when it comes to the development of the population policy. The Panel heard that, as it stands, the policy does not give sufficient detail as to how the breadth of children’s rights are going to be promoted and protected. The Commissioner suggested that the Government should include a children’s rights impact assessment each year within this policy moving forward, to highlight and mitigate against areas where children’s rights are not being considered.

Mrs. McMillian highlighted her concern that the population policy lacks a connection with the development of other major polices, particularly in education. She also suggested that future policy development needs to address issues surrounding access to healthcare, as well as how Jersey will present itself as a diverse, inclusive, and fair community where migrants will want to come to work.

The Children’s Commissioner welcomed the Government’s commitment to carry out further consultation with children and young people and suggested the establishment of a participation strategy with a clear set of principles and values for engagement with children.

Chair of the Migration and Population Review Panel, Senator Steve Pallett, said “The Panel thank the Children’s Commissioner for sharing her views on the policy from the perspective of protecting children’s rights. This and future population policies will impact all children and young people living in Jersey. We are keen to ascertain whether further work needs to be done to ensure that children’s rights will be at the forefront of this policy as it develops, and whether further consultation is needed to engage young people in decisions that will affect their future.”

The Migration and Population Review Panel’s review will conclude before the debate on the proposed population policy on Tuesday 8 February.

Scrutiny Press Release.

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